Daniel 11:2 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

2. And now will I declare truth unto thee ] something which will be verified by the event (cf. Dan 10:21).

The four kings of Persia.

stand up ] i.e. arise, as Dan 8:23, and below, Dan 11:3-4 ; Dan 11:7 ; Dan 11:20-21.

three kings ] the three kings following Cyrus (Dan 10:1) are Cambyses (b.c. 529 522), Gaumâta (Pseudo-Smerdis) 522 (for 7 months), and Darius Hystaspis (522 485). Gaumâta, however, might easily be disregarded by the writer: in this case, the third king would be Xerxes (485 465).

in Persia ] to, belonging to, Persia: the construction, as Deu 23:2-3 [3, 4]; Jer 13:13 (see R.V. marg.); and frequently.

the fourth ] the fourth, following the ‘three’? or the fourth, including Cyrus (who is reigning at the time, Dan 10:1), i.e. the last of the ‘three’? The latter interpretation is the more probable one: otherwise, why was not ‘ four kings shall stand up’ said? In either case, the fourth king is Xerxes, Gaumâta being counted in the former case but not in the latter. On Xerxes’ wealth and strength, see Hdt. vii. 20 99 (the account of the immense armament prepared by him against Greece).

and when he is waxed strong ] The same expression (in the Heb.) as 2Ch 12:1; 2Ch 26:16.

he shall stir up all (in conflict) with, &c.] he will set in motion ( Dan 11:25; Isa 13:17; Jer 50:9) all the men and forces of his vast empire. The allusion is to the well-known expedition against Greece, to which Xerxes devoted all his treasures and all his energies, and which ended in the disastrous defeat at Salamis, b.c. 480. The description of Greece as a ‘realm’ or kingdom, is, of course, inexact: Greece, in the age of Xerxes, consisted of a number of independent states, democracies or oligarchies; a Greek ‘kingdom’ did not arise till the days of Philip and Alexander of Macedon.

( 2) Dan 11:2 to Dan 12:4. The revelation given to Daniel.

This consists of a survey of the history from the beginning of the Persian period down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, followed by a description of the Messianic age, to begin afterwards. The description is brief and general in its earlier part, more detailed in the later parts. The angel first refers briefly to the doings of four Persian kings ( Dan 11:2), and of Alexander the Great ( Dan 11:3), with the division of his empire after his death ( Dan 11:4); then narrates more fully the leagues and conflicts between the kings of Antioch (‘the kings of the north’), and of Egypt (‘the kings of the south’), in the centuries following ( Dan 11:5-20); and finally, most fully of all, describes the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes ( Dan 11:21-45), including his conflicts with Egypt, and the persecution of the Jews ( Dan 11:30 b39). The death of Antiochus is followed by a resurrection (of Israelites), and the advent of the Messianic age (Dan 12:1-3). The revelation is intended to shew that the course of history is in God’s hands, and that though it may bring with it a period of trial for His people, this will be followed, at the appointed time, by its deliverance. It is thus designed particularly for the encouragement of those living in the season of trial, i.e. under the persecution of Antiochus; it is accordingly to be ‘sealed up’ by Daniel until then (Dan 12:4).

As is usual in apocalyptic literature (Enoch, Baruch, 2 Esdras, &c.), no names are mentioned; the characters and events referred to being described in veiled language, which sometimes leaves the interpretation uncertain. The Commentary of Jerome is important in this chapter, on account of its preserving notices from writers no longer extant.

Consult other comments:

Daniel 11:2 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Daniel 11:2 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Daniel 11:2 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Daniel 11:2 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Daniel 11:2 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Daniel 11:2 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Daniel 11:2 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Daniel 11:2 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Daniel 11:2 - Expositors Bible Commentary

Daniel 11:2 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Daniel 11:2 - Geneva Bible Notes

Daniel 11:2 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Daniel 11:2 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Daniel 11:2 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Daniel 11:2 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 11:2 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Daniel 11:2 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Daniel 11:2 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

Daniel 11:2 - Scofield Reference Bible Notes

Daniel 11:2 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Daniel 11:2 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Daniel 11:2 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

Daniel 11:2 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Daniel 11:2 - Combined Bible Commentary

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges